Dak Prescott Doubles His All-SEC Stature

One league recognition wasn’t honor enough for the season Dak Prescott produced. So today he picked up another, as the conference coaches named this record-setting Bulldog their first-team All-SEC quarterback.

Prescott was one of three Bulldogs named to the Coaches all-conference first squad in today’s announcement. Joining him in the SEC ‘starting lineup’ is linebacker Benardrick McKinney and defensive end Preston Smith.

The second team had two more Mississippi State men on the offensive side, with offensive lineman Ben Beckwith and running back Josh Robinson. This was the first All-SEC honor for all five Dogs.

In Prescott’s special case, he became a ‘consensus’ all-conference top-teamer. Monday he was named first-team quarterback by the Associated Press as well. Not only did the junior triggerman sweep, he became the first Bulldog quarterback to achieve first-team status in the SEC since Don Smith did it in 1986. There is a fine sense of symmetry to this selection too, since Prescott has spent both this 2014 season and his three-season (so far) career re-writing all the records the great Smith set three decades ago.

Prescott is only the fifth Mississippi State quarterback named a first-team All-SEC. He is a finalist for four national awards as well; the Maxwell, O’Brien, Manning, and Unitas.

Beckwith isn’t contending for the national honors, though he was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy. But he has his own exceptional story after joining Mississippi State as a walk-on five years ago. Now the senior is not only a second-team All-SEC with the Coaches; he was named to the AP’s first-team yesterday.

A consensus second-teamer, Robinson is another feel-great story in his own right, as well as All-SEC by media after rushing for 1,128 yards this junior season. With a bowl game left to play, Robinson already has the fifth-most rushing yards in a season at State. And if Prescott can run for 61 yards in the Orange Bowl, State will have a pair of 1,000-Yard rushers on the same team for the first time ever.

Robinson gives Coach Dan Mullen an All-SEC running back for the fourth time in six seasons.

The conference Coaches rated defensive Dogs Smith and McKinney one team-higher than the media did with today’s first-squad selection. They made the AP second-team on Monday. Senior Smith was fourth in tackles-for-loss at 14.5 and fifth in sacks at 9.0. Junior McKinney anchored State’s defense at middle-linebacker and had a team-best 61 tackles. His statistics would have been far higher save that MSU worked with a 1A/1B rotation of the entire defense, meaning McKinney made the most of his snaps to get to the ball. He is the fourth Mullen linebacker to earn All-SEC.

The last time three Bulldogs were first-team All-SEC with media was 1994.

SEC Coaches could not vote for their own players. The individual player honors, as well as the All-Freshman team as chosen by Coaches, will be announced Thursday. The Coaches will also name their Coach of the Year tomorrow, and Mullen is going for the two-for himself. The AP tabbed Mullen their COTY on Monday, making him the fourth Mississippi State mentor to win the honor.

Mullen and MSU officials are headed to Miami tomorrow for this week’s Orange Bowl function. Mullen will join Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson for the coaches press conference in advance of the New Years Eve contest.

Bulldog bowl practices are scheduled to open Friday afternoon with the campus portion of camp running through December 20. Mullen will take the team to Miami for the week of bowl lead-up work on December 26.

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